On Music: Beatlemania Week – No. 2
“While My Guitar Gently Weeps”
Many consider this George Harrison’s best song, at least of those he wrote as a Beatle. In the late ‘60s, Harrison was deeply into the I Ching and the concept of Relativism, which states that points of view have no absolute truth or validity, having only relative, subjective value according to differences in perception and consideration.
While visiting his folks in England, Harrison made up his mind to write a song based on the first words he saw upon opening a book. Which book? Any, random book on their shelves. So he plucked a book down, opened it up and saw the words “gently weeps.” Said Harrison:
I wrote “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” at my mother’s house in Warrington. I was thinking about the Chinese I Ching, the Book of Changes… The Eastern concept is that whatever happens is all meant to be, and that there’s no such thing as coincidence – every little item that’s going down has a purpose. “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” was a simple study based on that theory. I decided to write a song based on the first thing I saw upon opening any book – as it would be a relative to that moment, at that time. I picked up a book at random, opened it, saw ‘gently weeps’, then laid the book down again and started the song.”
Applying the same technique, I have just started composing a song called “New and Neat Stuff from the Neatoshop.”
For all episodes in this week-long Beatlemania mini-series, click here.